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-   -   DIY salt noob, Florida, Yucatan, pics (http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/general-discussion/289450-diy-salt-noob-florida-yucatan-pics.html)

tbblom 06-22-2012 07:33 PM

DIY salt noob, Florida, Yucatan, pics
 
Weddings in the keys and mexico gave me chance to finally break in the 10wt.
Unfortunately there is no money left for a guided flats trip.
It has not been easy, but I have managed to hook 6 fish and land 3. Fishing from a rental kayak in the Keys was the best way to get around on the cheap, as there was a lack of good wading. We saw nurse sharks, rays, and hooked a few small barracuda. After getting cut off by razor sharp teeth I moved up to 40lb. mono as a bite tippet and had success.

little 'cuda on my 7wt (destroyed a gurgler shrimp pattern)
http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...1-100-0296.jpg
toothy little maldito and what is left of the fly
http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...2-100-0297.jpg

On the Yucatan peninsula, we are staying at an all inclusive resort which sits on a nature preserve. There are flats loaded with fish, but they are all within the protected area, and fishing is 'prohibido'. North of the preserve is a small wadable flat that has produced 2 bites in a few trips out. It has been choppy with limited visibility; a tropical depression is forming and it is raining pretty hard. My lone-bone was caught on a blind retrieve the first day out. This morning calm water and overcast skies with light rain produced another that charged me and disappeared from my hook as I was giving myself a stripping burn! light rain gave way to full on downpour and high winds as we scurried back to the resort. I will go out again tomorrow morning if conditions allow, but the storm has a 70% chance of becoming a
tropical cyclone, so I am trying to be realistic...

pretty sure its a small bonefish, but I'll let the experts weigh in
http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...3-100-0312.jpg
The flat by the resort at dawn
http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...0-100-0324.jpg
Turns out that there is no need to be there at dawn. Both fish were hooked after 8am as fish began their approach to the 'protected' flat by a river outlet. The protected flat is loaded with fish on nicer days. It is like being in a candy store, but only being allowed access to the gumball machine outside!

looking south toward the resort, not a lot of sight fishing going on in the chop.
http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...9-100-0329.jpg

We saw a big tarpon cruising past a dock (but had no gear with me). Also, one of the workers at the resort told me about a 15lb. barracuda that cruises outside of the swim beach (also 'se prohibe pescar'):(

I wish we could afford the 400-500$ USD + tip for a guide+transportation out to ascension bay or the sian kaan preserve, but the weather is quickly deteriorating anyway. It has been cool learning the nature of the flats though; when fish come and go, and which tides they prefer. I have also only been using my own flies, which I consider a huge success for my first trip fly fishing in salt.

Side note: I went on a deep sea charter (18 guys on 3 boats before the Keys wedding). It was my first time, and we caught a few Mahi-mahi. One of the guys caught a nice permit on a live crab(spinning gear). The crew was nice enough to let me cast my 10wt while we were there. The mate didn't believe I would get any attention from a crab pattern, but I did manage to get a good follow from the depths with a 30' sink tip. It was a fly-anglers coup of sorts...

Here is the permit that took the live crab, I was only a tad jealous!
http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...4-100-0294.jpg

Wish me luck with this tropical storm!
TB

gatortransplant 06-22-2012 08:18 PM

Re: DIY salt noob, Florida, Yucatan, pics
 
Does indeed look like you got your first bone there, TB! Looks like a great trip, good luck with the weather, and keep the pics coming!

freebird630 06-22-2012 09:08 PM

Re: DIY salt noob, Florida, Yucatan, pics
 
Looks like you had a great time and learned a lot about flats fishing. It's also really cool that you caught these using flies you tied.

stl_geoff 06-25-2012 08:04 AM

Re: DIY salt noob, Florida, Yucatan, pics
 
Yup, thatd be a bone! Way to go and catch one! I know some guys who are still trying at their first haha.

fishingfly 06-25-2012 08:35 AM

Re: DIY salt noob, Florida, Yucatan, pics
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stl_geoff (Post 467157)
Yup, thatd be a bone! Way to go and catch one! I know some guys who are still trying at their first haha.

Inadvertantly referring to me... any bonefish caught without a guide is big in my book. I went to the keys for a week specifically to catch a bonefish and didn't see one. Great fish and enjoy your vacation!

tbblom 06-26-2012 11:10 AM

Re: DIY salt noob, Florida, Yucatan, pics
 
Thanks guys, it was a tough week for wading the flats by the resort. When the mangroves flood, they flush all sorts of sulfur smelling junk into the sea. The flat I could access was a natural catch point for all of the debris and fine material. No more fish were hooked after that first post, although I did give it a go every morning for a few hours. I spoke with some guys at the airport that were returning from Cuba; the same storm messed with their plans as well, but Cuba sounds very cool as a future destination.:cool:

Back on my home waters this morning I managed 2 carp in about an hour, more fish than I caught in a week near a resort in Mexico...:confused:

Things I learned:
1. high slack tide is good (when calm)
2. low tide and chop is not so good
3. 2 of 3 fish caught were during a downpour over calm seas (rain is good).
4. A real flats boat would have helped a lot, although the kayak was pretty good.
5. Casting from a paddle board while letting the wind and current drift the board is a blast. I saw lots of fish that way, including a nurse shark and some decent sized rays.
6. If visibility is poor, a blind cast over dark water can still produce a bonefish if you feel the take.
7. Barracuda will stoke your ego! Mean little buggers.
8. Learning on my own was an adventure, but next time I hope to hire a guide for at least a day. (with a boat to leave the resort madness...)

Can't wait to get back to the tropics. I am hoping for christmas in the keys on my girlfriend's parent's sailboat this winter. 'Sabalo' aka Tarpon is still high on my priority list, as well as 'robalo' aka snook. I believe the tarpon are still around the keys during christmas, at least they were two years ago when I first got to see one.
TB


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